Let’s kick off our Insects + Spiders Unit by comparing and contrasting insect and spider anatomy. Once the lesson is over, your child may likely want to play with the insect and spider you create. This is great! Encourage them to incorporate their crawly friends into the rest of today’s lessons, or you can simply let them use the creatures in free play.
What you need:
- cardboard egg carton
- pipe cleaners (5-6)
- googly eyes (10)
- mini sticky notes (you can also cut up a larger sticky note)
- our printable insect + spider anatomy guide
What to do:
Print our Insect + Spider Anatomy Guide.
Next, cut out two pieces of your egg carton, one with three cups and one with two. Paint them both (if desired).
Once they are dry, use the 3-cup section to create your insect. Add googly eyes, antennae and legs with pipe cleaners, and cardstock wings, like this:
Use the mini sticky notes to create labels for each part. For the insect, create labels that say:
- wings (optional)
Next, let’s make our spider. Attach 8 googly eyes, and use pipe cleaners to create the fangs, spinnerets, and legs, like this:
Next, use the mini sticky notes to create labels for the parts. For the spider, create labels that say:
- cephalothorax (head)
How to play:
Give your child the sticky notes and the printable guide. Ask them to label the parts of the spider, helping them to read the words if necessary.
Discuss the differences between an insect and a spider (or arachnid). You can read more details about them here, but here are the main ones to cover:
- An insect has six legs, while a spider has eight.
- Insects can have wings.
- An insect’s body is gnerally divided into three main parts: the head, thorax, and abdomen.
- A spider’s body is generally divided into two main parts: the cephalothorax (a fused head and thorax) and the abdomen.
- Spider’s can also have fangs and spinnerets, which are used to spin the silk for their webs.
- Insects have compound eyes (up to three), while spiders typically have eight eyes.
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